middle east digital banking
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Report Reveals Key Trends of Digital Banking Market in the Middle East

Global payment organisation, BPC, and strategy consultancy firm, Fincog, have launched a new report on the digital banking market of the Middle East. In addition to analysing Islamic finance, there is a particular focus on the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

The Digital Banking in The Middle East report analyses the specific characteristics of successful newcomers to the region. It takes into account the existing banking infrastructure, cultural observations and emerging trends.

Digital Banking in The Middle East provides a holistic overview of the Middle Eastern digital banking market and a sharp understanding of the current competitive landscape. It outlines how technological advancements in finance plus various economic development and diversification strategies across the GCC mean that the Middle East presents many opportunities for newcomers as well as established financial and non-financial institutions.

Key findings
  • New entrants are urged to differentiate and address the needs of a certain demographic segment of the population. This is the only way they can compete in a strong banking market and acquire sufficient market share;
  • Modern technology and sophisticated UX design is deeply ingrained in almost all digital products across various industries. Therefore, a compelling and digital customer experience has moved from being a mere luxury to being imperative to satisfy customers;
  • The wealthier GCC countries present a region that is a major source of attracting talent. To attract good talent, there must be compelling employer branding or employee value proposition;
  • Key government priorities to foster future growth involve digital transformation and sector diversification, including financial services and technology.

Islamic finance has become a growing area of interest around the globe, with an estimated 1.9 billion Muslims internationally. Consequently, the estimated Islamic Fintech market size for the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) with 57 member countries was roughly $49billion, set to rise to $128billion by 2025. While Saudi Arabia’s fintech market is currently worth approximately $17.8billion, it may reach $47.5billion in four years.

Underlying growth potential for digital banking players

“Our report highlights the factors that new entrants to the Middle Eastern digital banking market need to consider,” says Jeroen de Bel, founder of Fincog. “There is an underlying growth potential for digital banking players. This is especially true as consumers grow increasingly familiar with compelling digital-only offers for financial products and services. We hope our findings will benefit those interested in the many opportunities being presented in this part of the world.”


  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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